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Free Boundary Problems and Related Topics

6th January 2014 to 4th July 2014

Organisers: Gui-Qiang Chen (Oxford), Henrik Shahgholian (Stockholm) and Juan Luis Vázquez (Madrid)

Programme Theme

Free boundary problems are today considered as one of the most important directions in the mainstream of the analysis of partial differential equations (PDEs), with an abundance of applications in various sciences and real world problems. In the last two decades, various new ideas, techniques, and methods have been developed, and new important, challenging problems in physics, engineering, industry, finance, biology, and other areas have arisen.

The topics of this programme are at the forefront of current exciting developments. We realise that there have been few activities on free boundary problems in recent decades in the UK. We strongly believe that a thematic programme at the Newton Institute will have a huge impact on the development of FBPs from all points of view. The programme is directed towards theory, numerics and applications. It will further enhance the interaction between UK mathematicians and top international researchers in this field and strengthen the UK expertise in FBPs.

The study of free boundary problems is an extremely broad topic due to the abundance of applications. This breadth presents challenges and opportunities! Many problems treated by applied scientists and numerical analysts are not well known amongst theoretical people, and vice versa. This leads to the development of the topic in different directions and sometimes with no links. However, often there are several unifying themes with respect to methodologies and techniques. The aim of programme is to enhance those links and unifying techniques by bringing together the relevant specialists.



The Newton Institute has its own Preprint Series ( Free Boundary Problems and Related Topics visitors are encouraged to submit relevant papers to the series ( All papers must have been either completed at the Institute or based on work that took place partially or wholly at the Institute. You can still submit material to the preprint series even after your visit has ended as long as it is based on work that you did during your visit.

Journal articles:

Associated with programme there will be a special issue of the EMS journal INTERFACES AND FREE BOUNDARIES Mathematical Analysis, Computation and Applications (

Participants of the Free Boundary Problems and Related Topics programme, including speakers at workshops and conferences, are invited to submit their work. The papers should be of the usual high standard for the journal and they will be refereed in the standard way. Articles may be submitted electronically to the Editorial Office ( ifbj[at]ptmat.fc.ul[dot]pt) by 4 July 2014 with a note to the effect that the submission is associated with the programme.

Final Scientific Report: 
University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute The Leverhulme Trust London Mathematical Society Microsoft Research NM Rothschild and Sons